An Updated Review of Toxicity Effect of the Rare Earth Elements (REEs) on Aquatic Organisms
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chung-Li 320314, Taiwan
Department of Applied Physics, National Pingtung University, Pingtung 900391, Taiwan
Department of Bioscience Technology, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chung-Li 320314, Taiwan
Faculty of Pharmacy and The Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas, Manila 1008, Philippines
Center for Nanotechnology, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chung-Li 320314, Taiwan
Department of Chemistry, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chung-Li 320314, Taiwan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 August 2020 / Revised: 14 September 2020 / Accepted: 14 September 2020 / Published: 16 September 2020
Rare earth elements (REEs) have become important metals in modern-day technology. The process of discarding obsolete equipment containing REEs, use of REEs containing phosphate fertilizers, mining, and dispersion from indigenous rocks may increase the likelihood of REEs contamination in water bodies. Thus, the contamination may contribute to their release into surrounding ecosystems. This review paper aims to understand the bioavailability, accumulation, interaction, and toxicity criteria of REEs with aquatic organisms. The currently available literature is confined to reports of a few REEs. There exists substantial knowledge gaps persistence on the health effects. The REEs related to health effects also point to favorable and adverse effects after exposure. The studies have also demonstrated that REEs follow a hormetic concentration- related trend, making it stimulatory or protective at low dose levels and adverse at high dose concentrations. Based on limited information on REEs’ effects, we highlight the need for more detailed studies on REEs’ effects individually/collectively. The studies should also include detailed outcomes related to growth inhibition, embryotoxicity, cytogenetic effects, and organ-specific toxicity. We believe that aquatic biota is an efficient platform to study the effects of REEs and might yield beneficial human health information.